Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu hosted U.S. actor John Malkovich and his four friends at the White Pavilion (“Beyaz Köşk”) in the Emirgan Park on March 13. Preacautions taken by both sides against the novel coronavirus left their mark on the visit.
Malkovich and his friends were observed wearing latex gloves during the visit, while İmamoğlu had his staff offer cologne, a traditional ethanol-based scented disinfectant, to the guests.
Traditionally, hosts offer cologne to guests who use it to freshen up and wash their hands, but following the announcement of the virus officially reaching Turkey, the cologne has become a popular weapon among the Turks to combat the virus.
Malkovic told İmamoğlu that he and his friends had come to Istanbul for various cultural events, including a movie shooting.
The U.S. actor also told the mayor that he was gifted a pair off cuff-links featuring the image of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkish Republic, during his time in Istanbul. In response, İmamoğlu took Malkovich’s home address and promised to send him books on Atatürk.
İmamoğlu, who is originally from the Black Sea province of Trabzon, gave a short summary of his life story to Malkovich once he was asked if he was “an Istanbulite.” Malkovich also shared his life story with the Istanbul mayor in a nutshell.
The meeting ended with Malkovich offering a DVD to İmamoğlu that has samples of the past work the U.S. actor has done.
Following the meeting, İmamoğlu shared on Twitter a photo of a municipality personnel offering the cologne to Malkovich.
“Even if our guest is John Malkovich, our meeting starts with a Turkish-style cologne serving,” İmamoğlu said.